Refrains

Refrains

By

Leila Macdonald

". . . Whereupon coming to the bars of his window
and looking out, he did begin to weep and lament him, and
cry out on the good sun that shone even into the King's prison.
But most he did bewail that no one should pay heed to his
death. . . . "



I KNOW not if the air is sweet, nor if the roses flower ;
I only hear one tiny bird that chirps the passing hour.
I know not if the air is sweet, nor if the roses flower.

If I could only flee the death that waits at break of day,
To some untravelled country-side I would escape away.
If I could only flee the death that waits at break of day.

I would not need a house, nor wife, nor even clothes to wear ;
But only God's dear firmament, and sunshine, and the air.
I would not need a house, nor wife, nor even clothes to wear.

What matter all the things men prize, comfort, and luxury,
When one may shout, and laugh, and run, and be at liberty ?
What matter all the things men prize, comfort, and luxury ?

What

By Leila Macdonald 131

What have I done that I should die, who never meant to
wrong ?
At best our life is all we have, and cannot last for long.
What have I done that I should die, who never meant to wrong ?

Life seems so full of joys to me, now that death comes so near;
I would I had been more content, and had kept better cheer.
Life seems so full of joys to me, now that death comes so near.

If only some one will recall my memory and my name ;
I do so fear they may forget even my very shame.
If only some one will recall my memory and my name.

Perchance a girl may weep to see them lead me out to die,
May cross herself, and whisper, " God, he is as young as I."
Perchance a girl may weep to see them lead me out to die.





MLA citation: Macdonald, Leila. "Refrains." The Yellow Book 5 (Apr. 1895): 130-31. The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University, 2011. Web. [Date of access]. http://www.1890s.ca/HTML.aspx?s=YBV5_macdonald_refrains.html